The month of March started out on an extremely high note. Two of my dearest friends (who happen to be my boyfriend and his sister) came to visit me. We began our time together with 5 days in Peru, then came to La Paz for several days exploring my city.
To be able to share this part of the world that I love so much with them was incredibly special. I was overwhelmed with a deep sense of joy as we wandered through the cobblestoned streets of Cuzco, talked to locals and learned their stories, and experienced the wildness of the southern hemisphere together. What a delight it was to show them my life here in La Paz, all the grit and the beauty that it encompasses.
But of all the sites seen, memories made, and laughter had, what I will remember more than anything, is the way I felt. Our time together struck me right at the core of my greatest desire.
To be known— in our heart of hearts, it’s what we all desire most.
In a world in which we are constantly told we are not enough, there is nothing more beautiful than hearing that you are, indeed, enough. Your daily strivings are enough. Your awake and your sleep are enough. Your dreams are enough. The hairs of your head are enough. Your thoughts and actions and beliefs… they are all enough. You are enough.
We all want to be known. As terribly frightening as it is, we all desire for someone to see the deepest parts of us—the darkness, the light, the ugly and broken, the beautiful and redeemed—and still be loved, because of it, and in spite of it.
To be known is our greatest desire.
To have someone look deep into your soul and really see you.
To have someone whisper, I am with you.
To have someone not flee, but embrace all of you.
As I reflected on why it is that we want to be known, I was drawn to 1 Corinthians.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” -1 Corinthians 13:12
To love and be loved is to pass from darkness to light. It is an act of uncovering and then being covered again with something greater than ourselves. It is following in the footsteps of the One who tore the temple veil, who rolled away the stone, who drew lines in the sand, all to know us more.
As fulfilling as being known is here on earth, it is not the whole truth. If we find fulfillment in being known here, how much more satisfying to our souls will it be to be known by God when we reach eternity with Him?
Timothy Keller says it brilliantly:
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.”
Being known here on earth is the closest we will come to experiencing the fullness of heaven. We get flashes of light and glimpses of eternity by loving and being loved here on earth. But, earthly love is yet a poor reflection of the eternal love of the Father. It is part of the whole that will be revealed when we meet Him. Instead of being discouraged by this, I find a deep sense of encouragement in it. Even if it is a poor reflection, it is still the closest we will come here on earth. Once you know what it means to be truly known, there is a deep sense of seeking for others to experience this same “knownness.” What a beautiful thing it is to know and be known. It is our chance to bring heaven to earth.
We want to feel known because it brings us closer to our Creator and Savior. This desire is at the root of our greatest fears, insecurities, and doubts. But, it is also at the core of our most courageous prayers, our boldest dreams, and our deepest joy.
“Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all.” -Frederick Buechner
So I rejoice in the deep sense of gladness found only in being deeply known and loved. Thank you, my dear friends Trevor and Brittany, for knowing and loving me. I pray that you may rejoice in that same gladness.